Thoughts on the McKinney-Johnson debate

Well, the debate is over. Thankfully.

Here’s my take: Johnson looked stiff and rehearsed, and stuck to his talking points, it appeared, regardless whether they matched the questions or not.

McKinney looked marginally more comfortable in front of the cameras, and was beating him fairly soundly until a panelist asked Johnson how his policies would differ from the Congresswoman’s. In his answer, Johnson stated a willingness to “reach across the aisle” and “work together” for the good of the nation. McKinney responded by calling him “the Republicans’ men,” and accusing him of saying in his answer that he would be “just like the Republicans.” She followed that by (unconvincingly) characterizing herself as “independent” and beholden only to the people. 

The bottom line? It’s hard to imagine many voters being truly undecided in any race involving Cynthia McKinney. The lines have been drawn pretty clearly for weeks now in this particular contest, and I would be very surprised if many minds were made up (or changed) by tonight’s debate. What do you think?


  1. stephaniemills21 says:

    I think that if you live in N. DeKalb Johnson won, but in S. DeKalb McKinney won. But for an overall feeling McKinney won. Her style and talking points were the ones that are going to appeal to the Democratic voters in the fourth. She kept on harping on landfills which is a big issue for them. And her use of the developer money for Johnson was good as well.

    He came across as stiff as a board and even though his points were valid and real, she came across as one of the people in her district.

    I thought her comment about Taylor’s endorsement was awesome for Taylor. She could have been a real pain in his ass, but did not. For me, that was the highlight.

  2. griftdrift says:

    McKinney painted Johnson as a stealth Republican and showed she had knowledge of Dekalb county issues. Those were the two things she had to do, She won hand’s down.

    But I agree Jeff. The lines in the district were already drawn pretty hard. Although I predict McKinney will get a little bounce.

  3. Brian from Ellijay says:

    She only had 5 lines to memorize. After that she repeated them over and over.

    How is her non georgia/LA/Non Jewish money from THE PEOPLE. While Hanks Georgia money from politicians, developers and republicans not the people?

  4. Overincorporated Fulton says:

    I watched and think that Cynthia (unfortunately) won. Hank did a good job hammering her on the geography of her campaign contributions but not much else. He let her make the debate about him…we weren’t reminded at all about her outrageous behavior and the fact that she is an embarrassment to Democrats everywhere.

    Cynthia also looked far more composed and congressional than at her recent “I’m-headed-into-a-runoff party” with Cindy Sheehan in tow. I was surprised.

  5. techtrack says:

    that was brutal. i feel sorry for the people in the 4th. it’s a choice between bad and worst. i guess you go with bad and vote for johnson.

  6. TigerLily says:

    Was surprised at CMs make over. She has gone back to the pulled back hair and classy suit. Both of them get on my nerves. As Tech says, it’s a choice between bad and worst. Hopefully the people of the 4th will go with Johnson.

  7. carolyn says:

    Tonight Cynthia looked as poised as I have seen her, although she did start unraveling and losing her cool and self-control about halfway thru the debate. Hank Johnson needs to come back on the Saturday debate and really hammer his platform home.

    I also see where the Southern Voice has abandoned Cynthia and now supports Johnson. So gays and conservatives unite to oust Cynthia??? Yikes

  8. BB says:

    If McKinney would have participated in the primary debates, it is unlikely the 4th would be in a runoff. So much for all previous arguements about the 4th electing the best available as there is no best.

    Hank reminds one of that detective from Beverly Hills Cop that Eddie Murphy made fun of for saying something about, “I’m not going to fall for the banana in the tailpipe.” Watch out DC Capitol police, Cynthia is coming back!

  9. kolt473 says:

    Think Mckinney lost on the basis of every other word he got his money from republican and special interests, while she was bragging on her record for whatever it was worth……..she knew when to play the race card to beat the capitol hill arrest rap…….that alone should send the votes to johnson……she had her ”talking points as well………like she was tauting opponent unmericifully, while she dodge questions regarding where she got her money from…..I saw the fire in her eyes….she’s desperate and have nothing to offer….say where was she when the water main broke???? Nowhere to be found……of course she looked relaxed……she’s had more exposure to the camera…… money hank johnson next week Saturdays debate will tell bet she still paints him tool of the republicans and land fill interests ms mckinney if you read this……your going home for good on august the 8th……who will you blame this time?????? same folks as last defeat????????

  10. stephaniemills21 says:

    I have to say that Hank did better tonight than I thought he would have. A few years ago i was juror on a case where he was an attorney for the defendant. He sucked ass, major ass, and he is the one who caused his client to lose. He offered a poor defense and his presentation of the facts left a lot to be desired. So tonight I was surprised at how well he did.

  11. buzzbrockway says:

    A couple of thoughts:

    McKinney repeated the charges she’s laid out in her radio commercials. Will they be effective?

    Will McKinney’s charge that Johnson is a closet Republican carry any weight? It’s hardly a secret that Republicans want McKinney gone, but will playing the victim work for her again?

    This only matter as it impacts turnout. Will what happened tonight fire up Cynthia’s base or not? Clearly that’s what her attacks were aimed at.

    What will happen next Tuesday is beyond my powers of prognostication.

  12. GAPeach says:

    Does anyone else thing Hank Johnson’s performance eerily resembles a Saturday Night Live caricature of himself?

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  14. BB said,

    “Hank reminds one of that detective from Beverly Hills Cop that Eddie Murphy made fun of for saying something about, “I’m not going to fall for the banana in the tailpipe.

  15. emily says:

    Hank was terrible. I thought this would be his chance to seem more “Congressional.” Unfortunately, he looked like a deer in headlights. I can’t imagine him making a speech from the well of the U.S. House of Representatives. McKinney clearly changed her persona–hair, demeanor, etc. I think it worked. I will agree, though, that there are very few undecided voters in the district. She must get her voters out, and, frankly, if anyone can do it she can.

    (No horse in the race for me. Just fun to watch)

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